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review 2019-03-31 22:15
Coffee Boy by Austin Chant
Coffee Boy - Austin Chant

Kieran heads to his new internship at Heidi Norton's campaign office feeling nervous but hopeful. He's been told it's a trans-friendly workplace, and Marcus, the person who arranged his internship, is also a former professor of his, so he figures he'd have the benefit of knowing at least one person there. Unfortunately, he's almost immediately misgendered by one of his new coworkers, who seems confused and uncomfortable when he corrects her. Then he discovers that Marcus isn't there yet and he's going to have to deal with Seth, who immediately strikes him as stiff and intimidating. And also disconcertingly hot.

As Kieran gets used to his new internship, he learns that Seth isn't quite as intimidating as he first appeared, in part because Seth clearly has a major secret crush on Marcus, who is, unfortunately for Seth, both heterosexual and very happily married. To make matters worse, Kieran finds himself developing an awkward crush of his own on Seth.

Chant's Peter Darling was decent but not quite my cup of tea. I was looking forward to Coffee Boy, which I'd heard was a sweet contemporary romance. For the most part, I enjoyed it more than Peter Darling, although I flinched when I started it and realized it was written in present tense, with some verb tense choices in the first couple paragraphs that had me wondering if I was going to spend the whole story encountering odd inconsistencies. Thankfully, the writing smoothed out after that first jarring bit, and I eventually adjusted to Chant's verb tense choice and could even sort of see why he chose it, even though I wasn't a fan of it.

The first half of this story, in particular, made for difficult reading. Lots of instances of Kieran dealing with misgendering, as people saw his long hair and heard his "mean cheerleader" voice and assumed he was a woman. Marcus patted himself on the back for being a good trans ally by hiring Kieran, not seeing that there were additional issues that needed to be addressed. Seth was better, but his habit of snapping at anyone who misgendered Kieran made things worse in some ways, as people began treating Kieran like some kind of workplace ghost or bent over backwards in order to avoid using any pronouns at all when referring to him.

I liked seeing Kieran and Seth gradually relax and get to know each other. Seth was adorable, and I kept having a mental image of Kieran as a puppy nipping at Seth to try and get him to unbend and play around a little. As much as I loved the part when they were finally honest about how they felt about each other, I wish there'd been an epilogue showing them a few months later, after they'd been a couple for a while.

There was a ten-year age difference between them that had a noticeable effect on their lifestyles - Kieran was more comfortable going out to bars, drinking, and dancing than Seth, while Seth was much more financially stable and had a better handle on his life, at least in terms of his career (as far as his romantic life went, he used to be married - he and his wife divorced a while back, although not because he was bisexual). When Kieran and Seth finally admitted to each themselves and to each other how they felt, the age difference was brought up a little, as was the difference in their workplace status (Seth wasn't Kieran's direct supervisor, but he was still in a more powerful and influential position). Both of those things bothered Seth a bit more than they did Kieran, and both were brushed off fairly quickly.

I'm not sure I'd call this a fluffy romance considering how exhausting some of the stuff in the first half was, but it still had some nice sweet moments. I look forward to seeing Chant's future works.

I'll wrap this up with a comment about Coffee Boy's publisher, NineStar Press. This was my first exposure to them and their website has some features that mean I'll be reading more of their publications: they have "category" tags for gender (nonbinary, trans, cisgender), orientation (aromantic, asexual, bisexual, demisexual, gay, lesbian, pansexual), pairing (FF, MM, MMM, MMF, menage), and sex content (N/A, non-explicit, explicit). I particularly appreciated the orientation and sex content tags, as well as the "type" tags (romance, erotica, literary). I've now read one other work besides Coffee Boy published by NineStar Press and consider their tagging to be accurate.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-09-09 01:01
What's the Difference
What's the Difference?: 40+ Pairs of the Seemingly Similar - Emma Strack
Once I saw this book at the library, I knew I had to read it. Just thumbing through the book, I knew there were things I was going to learn and I was excited to start reading. I liked how this book was set up, the feel of the pages, and the illustrations.
 
Let me start by explaining this book. It is set up into categories: animals, food & drink, geography, fashion, human body and city. This book also has a fantastic table of contents and an index. Inside each category, you will find pairs of items that seem similar but yet they are different. Some examples are: rabbit-hare, grasshopper-cricket, noodle-pasta, tornado-hurricane, tights-stockings, veins-artery, and terrace-balcony. These are just a few of the over 40 different pairs that are included in this book.
 
On each two pages pairing, the author explains some similarities and some differences of the pair. I liked the illustrations, although they are not actual photographs, they are great, realistic drawings. There are other illustrations on these thick, glossy pages with each of them having a short description beneath them. There is also a helpful chart on the page that compares the pair that is on the page.
 
There were some things I already knew as I read through this book and I also learned quite a bit. I kept interrupting my husband as he watched tv, with my new facts as I thought he would find it interesting too. I found most of the pairing appropriate but a few of them, well I just didn’t understand them but I did read them anyway.
 
As I read I discovered the difference between pasta and noodles. I like them both but never really thought about them being different things. I learned about the difference between a camel and a dromedary. I see that it is visual but I also read about some other differences but do you know what happens if they mate? Now, that was interesting. Comparing seas and oceans in their sizes, I never really thought about until I got to these pages. In the world, there are more than 150 seas covering 1.8 million sq. miles whereas there are 5 oceans covering 140 million sq. miles. That to me, is a huge difference.
 
I wouldn’t suggest that you read through this book all in one sitting as it loses its lust if you try to digest all its information in one sitting. I enjoyed this book and I’m glad I picked it up. It was fun and I not overwhelming.

 

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review 2018-07-16 20:02
Love Has No Expiration by C.S. Poe Review
Love Has No Expiration - C.S. Poe

There's more to life than work, and love has no expiration, even for those approaching their forty-fifth birthday.

Daniel Richards is a private chef in New York City who has committed over a decade to his skills and passion. He has carved out a name for himself in the industry and has bookings for parties and dinners months in advance. Now that he's in his midforties, however, he's come to the realization that he's lonely and desperate for companionship. Two days before Valentine's Day, he meets Keith Maxwell at a farmer's market and can't keep the much younger man out of his thoughts. Keith is eager and willing to take a chance with someone older, but Daniel's reluctance stops Keith's every attempt. Worried his career will suffer if he dedicates time to a serious romance, or that Keith won't be satisfied with someone so much older, Daniel nearly thwarts his own attempts at finding happiness.

 

Review

 

I like C.S. Poe's writing a great deal and this is a lovely age difference romance which starts at a Farmer's Market.

This love story between Keith and Daniel explores adjusting one's life to make room for love. 

Well written.

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review 2018-06-11 00:00
The Difference Between Us
The Difference Between Us - Rachel Higgi... The Difference Between Us - Rachel Higginson For fans of:
Insecure heroines (I don't always think that's a terrible thing)
Weird reading audience breaks for humor (I just read this in another book and was ok after I got over it)
Strikethrough as a mechanism for conveying hyperbole and sarcasm-talk about pulling me out of the book.
Some good humor and a peppy, though unpolished writing style.


So, the heroine doesn't have her shit together and the hero does. Cool. The heroine is being sexually harassed at work and side note here-I can't tell if there's some shallow feminist stuff going on or what, but basically explains she is a feminist, but you know the reasonable kind...and I really felt like it was a weird jab at women in corporate America....and women...and feminists.

I did enjoy the hero's method of wooing. His game was pretty strong and subtle enough. What I hated? That the heroine didn't use the hero to challenge her to make her better, but to tell her she's better. Including validation for her work-cause he'd hire her above all others. ugh, c'mon. Bore. Speaking of boring, the declarations? It read like a laundry list and is certainly no "Wednesday by Wednesday, week by week, I have loved you." Or insert your favorite here.

I'm waiting on that romance where the person isn't talented or ambitious and the person who loves them doesn't give a fuck.

I got off on a bit of a ramble. I think it is cause in the end, I found this book to be a bit of a vapid waste of time. It had potential, she can write snappy humor and sweet nothings. The attempt for social commentary on sexual harassment was a bit too heavy-handed (though well done in the beginning for its evolution) BTW DOCUMENT DOCUMENT TAPE RECORD. Anyway, so it all seems a bit of a shame chore waste. (See what I did there, so clever)
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review 2018-04-22 23:34
Team Phison by Chace Verity Review
Team Phison - Chace Verity

For 55-year-old Phil Hutton, finding a new boyfriend is tough, especially since he’s still hurting from his ex leaving him for a younger man. Online dating has been a soul-crushing experience for the restaurant owner. Too many meat-haters interested in microbreweries or something called geocaching. His matches in the multiplayer for his favorite video game have been equally sucky too.

One night, he encounters a newbie who is so helpless, Phil can’t help showing him the ropes. It doesn’t take long for Phil to become interested in his enthusiastic teammate. 28-year-old Tyson Falls from Georgia loves working as a server in a rinky pizza joint and sees the best in everything. As Phil’s online dating matches get worse and his in-game matches with Tyson get better, he finds himself wanting to pursue the easygoing chatterbox with a thick, sexy drawl.

But Phil can’t get past the fear that Tyson could possibly want a fossil like him. If his brain doesn’t stop being so damn insecure, it might be game over for his heart.

 

Review

 

If you want a romance to make you smile, this is a good choice.  It is a lovely, sweet, met on line while gaming age difference romance.

 

Phil might be afraid but he still reachers out and our other hero is all about the emotionial bravery.

 

Good stuff. 

 

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